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September 26, 2012

Madison volleyball hopes to build strong program

By Mark Vest
C & G Sports Writer

» click to enlarge «
Coach Michelle Stinson’s ultimate goal for Madison’s volleyball team is to win a league title. Pictured, from left, front row, Billie Jo Patrick, Antonia Taylor and Kandy Manning, and back row, from left, Vosta Zaia and Taylor Moore.

The last time a volleyball team at Madison High won a league title, the players who currently suit up for the Eagles weren’t even born.

Coach Michelle Stinson said she was told that the last volleyball championship came in 1993, and the 2012 version of the Eagles are hoping they can help update the program’s title résumé.

Stinson is in her first season at the helm at Madison, but she had the opportunity to work with some of her current players at Wilkinson Middle School, where she coached the volleyball team for approximately 25 years.

The Eagles only won two divisional games last season, and given the struggles they went through, Stinson is hoping to help instill a winning attitude. Believing they can do it may be one of the biggest keys for the Eagles.

Stinson has some ideas as to the kind of achievements she would like for her team to aspire to. At press time, the Eagles were 1-3 overall and 1-1 in the MAC Bronze, one match behind East Detroit.

“I would like to get above .500,” Stinson said. “My ultimate goal would be to win the league. It would be phenomenal. I have some very skilled players that know the game. They just have to put it together with teamwork and the concept of winning. I think we’ll be successful. The foundation is there. We’re hoping to build it.”

Antonia Taylor, Taylor Moore, Ambrosia Guitar, Vosta Zaia, Billie Jo Patrick and Kandy Manning are the senior leaders.

Before Taylor calls it a career with the Eagles, she said she would like to be part of making Madison’s volleyball program strong, and a league title would be a good way to do just that.

“It would be a nice going-away present for us seniors because it’s never happened before for us,” she said.

Patrick would also like to depart from the program on a winning note.

“That would be something we would all like a lot,” she said. “It would be nice to do better than the years before. Basketball in (2005) was the last time (a) girls sport (at Madison) won a title.”

Even though Madison will lose six seniors at season’s end, Stinson does not believe the cupboard will be bare. Amanda Mac and Andreen Yousif are two of the talented juniors on the squad, and based on the skill level she has seen, Stinson is hopeful that along with some players currently on the JV team, they can be part of helping lead the Eagles into what she hopes is a bright future.

“My juniors are just phenomenal leaders and players that we’ll build off of for next year,” she said. “They’re very valuable and potent to the offense. They love volleyball, they just love it, which is a good foundation.”

Madison is next scheduled to be in action at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27 against Warren Fitzgerald at home.

You can reach C & G Sports Writer Mark Vest at mvest@candgnews.com or at (586)279-1112. Twitter Follow Mark on Twitter.